The Andy Rooney Affair
Andy Rooney is now back at work as a regular commentator on CBS’s 60 Minutes, his three-month suspension having been abbreviated by the network in response to widespread protest and a drop in the ratings. But the significance of the Rooney affair remains obscure in spite of all the discussion it has provoked.
To recap the story: last December, not on 60 Minutes but on a CBS News special reviewing the year 1989, the deliberately cranky Rooney noted, as a general comment on American society, that “many of the ills which kill us are self-induced.” These causes of “premature death,” he said, include “too much alcohol, too much food, drugs, homosexual unions, and cigarettes.”
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